Technology Evaluation Centers blog - Thinking Radically

September 20, 2011
Jorge Garcia of Technology Evaluation Centers did an interview with Dr. Middelfart in the Thinking Radically series.

In this interview, Dr. Middelfart discusses his vision of the BI space, his research, and how TARGIT is planning to help companies overcome future challenges with their BI needs.

What do you think are the major changes in the way we do BI nowadays as opposed to how we did BI 8 to 10 years ago?

Having worked in BI for the past two decades, I am afraid that the next decade does not have a huge revolution in store. If I think back to the early 1990s—the challenge then was to give users easy and fast access to valid data. That challenge pretty much remains today. Sure, technology has improved in terms of processing power, storage, connectivity, and mobility, but overall the challenge stands. Moreover, the challenge does not stop at valid data, because, in my mind, an even bigger challenge is information quality—meaning that the information users get out of BI systems can be completely understood by them and that it is coherent across an organization. Information quality goes much further than data quality, as valid data can be misunderstood if a user does not understand its context and meaning and is not able to relate it to other data.

Lack of information quality is, to my mind, still the biggest challenge for organizations seeking to harness the power of information and to turn that into competitive execution. The worst thing about lacking information quality is that it can stall the decision process when users need to find consensus about the “truth” before a decision and subsequent action can be taken.

Having said this, we will of course see an increase in mobility as well as an increase in cloud-based delivery models, but these technological trends are not going to solve the fundamental information quality problem. In other words, if we are not careful, then we will just exploit technology to be even more efficient in confusing users, anytime and anywhere.

My hope for the next decade is that we will apply technology more wisely and address the fundamental problem that users face, allowing them to make well-informed decisions fast and in sync with their peers in their organization.

Read the full interview

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